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The History and Evolution of Coffee

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Coffee has grown even more popular in recent years; it seems you can't go more than 10 feet without seeing someone with a coffee cup in their hand. With a 7% growth rate each year, worldwide, it doesn't look like the future is dim for the coffee industry either. Here's a quick history lesson on where our favorite morning brew started, and how it came to be the second most sought after commodity in the world after crude oil.

The first stories of a drink made from beans are actually a part of popular Middle Eastern myth. The myth says that a farmer noticed his goats eating beans, and that once they has consumed the beans, it would keep them restless and awake in their pens all night. So he took his finding to the town's archbishop, who made a drink from the beans. Throughout the evening mass, he noticed that the drink kept him alert throughout the service. And so, coffee was born.

It began being traded shortly after it spread through the middle eastern town, and coffee shops first sprang up in England in the 16th and 17th centuries. They were first used as a place where people paid a small fee and could get a cup of coffee and engage in intellectual conversation with the likes of philosophers and theologians. They were seen as intellectual hubs as they spread throughout Europe.

As time wore on, as is what happens with any industry, the shops became more popular and commercialized. In the past couple of decades, coffee giants like Starbucks have made coffee a household fixture, and have helped pave the way for other coffee companies and franchises.

Today, coffee is an estimated $100 billion industry worldwide. There are about 14 billion espressos and 500 billion cups of coffee consumed each year, and the industry growth only seems to be getting better with time. It has become one of the best food franchise opportunities for people who want to start their own business. New innovations such as mobile coffee vans and mobile cafes have ensured the continued success of coffee.

Sound off, and let us know: are mobile coffee vans the next big thing? What do you think about the industry's continued growth?

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